Conceptual Modeling of Data-Intensive Web Applications

Stefano Ceri, Piero Fraternali, Maristella Matera


This paper provides some abstractions and roadmaps for interpreting data-intensive Web applications. This class of applications is characterized by the underlying existence of large data sets, organized within a repository or database, and therefore must obey some typical patterns and rules for the effective management of information. The purpose of this paper is to explain such patterns and rules in terms of WebML, a formal Web modeling language, for specifying the content structure of the Web application and the organization and presentation of such content in a hypertext. In particular, the paper shows that data-intensive Web sites can be abstracted as complex arrangements of elementary structures, called skeletons, which are pairs of structural diagrams (describing data organizations) and site view diagrams (describing navigational patterns). The essence of the proposed method is the classification of the role that concepts may play within the Web application information content, so that it can be abstracted and reduced to few, fundamental entities and relationships, organized according to an E/R diagram. Such a classification then feeds the identification of WebML skeletons.


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